Wednesday July 3, 2019

Tuesday’s high, 82; overnight low 68; .36”rain







Pennsylvanians who buy their health insurance on the federal exchange can expect lower prices now that House Bill 3 was signed into law. Sponsored by House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny), it will establish a state-based health insurance exchange and reinsurance program.

“I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and Gov. Tom Wolf, for recognizing that saving Pennsylvanians’ money is not a political issue,” Cutler said. “A dozen states are already running their own exchanges rather than participating in the federal, and residents in those states are paying less than we are. It’s time we joined in those savings.”

The Trump administration opened additional opportunities for states to create exchanges unique to the challenges and needs facing individual states through an executive order on President Donald Trump’s first day in office.

“The backing of both the federal and state administrations speak to why this is the right move for consumers in our Commonwealth,” Cutler added. “While there are continuing debates over the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act at the federal level and in the courts, this law allows us to make the system as responsible and reliable as possible for Pennsylvania.”

The state exchange makes no changes to the requirements, pre-existing conditions or any other enrollment requirements that exist at the federal level, and if the Affordable Care Act program changes or is eliminated, the Pennsylvania exchange would reflect those changes.

The state reinsurance program would drive down costs for all Pennsylvanians as insurers will have a better idea of which customers carry the highest costs. The return in other states has proven to be lower premiums for all customers.

Currently, more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians buy their health insurance through at a cost of $85 million to $90 million to the state in fees to run the site. Under this plan, those fees would be kept in Pennsylvania and the state Insurance Department would run the exchange.

The unemployment rate went up between April and May for every county in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area according to the state Department of Labor and Industry. Potter County’s jobless rate increased from 4.7 to 5.1%; McKean’s went up from 4.0 to 4.4%; Cameron say an increase from 4.8 to 5.3%; Tioga’s went up from 4.4 to 4.8% and Elk realkized an increase frin 3.5% ti 4,9%. Pennysylvania’s  overall  rate was 3.8%; while the national figure was a record low of 3.6%. Adams County had the best rate in Pennsylvania going from 2.9 to 2.8% while Snyder took a hit with an increase from 3.3% to 6.1%.

The sudden downturn in Snyder County’s employment came in May when a privately owned company, Wood Mode abruptly notified its 938 employees workers and the state that it was closing its doors due to a failed sales agreement and it’s lender would not extend credit while another sale was pursued.

A Johnstown woman was hurt Tuesday afternoon in a roll over in Ridgway Township. State police at Ridgway report Darlene Mulkey was going south of Route 219 south of Route 255 when her Kia Forte went across the road while making a slight left hand curve and struck a boulder. The impact caused the car to roll over and come to rest on the driver’s side. Mulkey was taken to UPMC Altoona where she was treated for unknown injuries. She was cited for careless driving.

Minor injuries were reported for two drivers  after a three-vehicle collision Tuesday afternoon in Mt. Jewett. State police at Lewis Run say the accident occurred when Roland Good’s eastbound Mercury Monterey crossed the center line and collided with a Ford  Edge driven by Paul Swanson. After impact, Good’s car collided with a legally parked unoccupied Fiat 500 belonging to Lori Baker on the west side of the road. Swanson was taken to UPMC Kane. Good was treated at the scene and refused transport.  All three are Mt. Jewett residents.

An Elmira, NY man escaped injury last Friday afternoon when a tree fell on his Toyota Sienna on Route 287 in Delmar Township. Rance  Secrhist was going south at about 2:30 pm when the accident happened. Less than an hour later, both Wellsboro  drivers escaped injury in a rear-end collision in that vicinity. State police said Michael Oskamp of Wellsboro failed to stop his GMC Sierra in time and ran into the back of Christa Knowlton’s Nissan Rogue which had stopped for a traffic backlog due to the previous accident.

An Ithaca driver and his passenger escaped injury in a c ar/deer collision late last Saturday night on Route 15 in Liberty Township, Tioga County Frank Carl  was going north at the time. Both he and his passenger  Angela Rogers were using seatbelts.